Manchester bombing: Muslim taxi driver made three trips to rescue teens saying, ‘It was like seeing my daughter there’

Saf Ismail ferried 24 people to safety on the night of the attack

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Wednesday 24 May 2017 11:27 BST
Muslim taxi driver made three trips to the arena to rescue survivors

A Muslim taxi driver has told of the three trips he made to take concert-goers to safety on the night of the Manchester terror attack.

“There were so many people coming out,” Saf Ismail told CBSNews. “It was like seeing my daughter there.”

Mr Ismail, a Pakistani-Muslim who grew up in the city, said his 15-year-old daughter had meant to attend the Ariana Grande concert, but had changed her mind a few months ago to prepare for her exams.

On the night of the attack Mr Ismail saw the streams of people coming out of the Manchester Arena and ferried as many as he could to safety.

“They weren’t injured but they were crying, shouting, screaming – basically very, very emotional,” he said. “Emotions are running so high it’s like seeing your own flesh and blood walking.”

Mr Ismail made three trips and managed to help 24 people with his people carrier.

He dismissed the idea of Manchester being a “no-go zone” and said: “These people are very strong. We have had differences but we get together and we stay together.”

Many people in the city responded to the attack by rushing to help the victims. Taxi drivers turned off their metres and took people home to safety for free. Others offered stranded concert-goers places to stay for the night, and homeless people rushed inside the arena to help the wounded.

Vigils were held across the country for the victims of the attack, with thousands descending on Manchester’s city centre to pay tribute to the 22 people who lost theirs lives and 59 who were injured.

The attacked has been identified as 22-year-old suicide bomber Salman Abedi, a Manchester native of Libyan descent.

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